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While there is a lot of talk about when babies should start crawling, nobody really explains the right way to do it.
This is evidenced in the title of a thread started by one slightly stressed mom in the our site Community – and the dozens of others just like it:
"Weird crawling – should I be concerned?"
The truth is, there is no right way for a baby to crawl. (So all of you worried parents can breathe a sigh of relief!)
Here is a look at some of the weird, wild, and wacky ways our babies get from point A to point B. (Or, put in more practical terms, from the safe blanket you placed them on to the shelf that holds your most valuable, breakable possessions.)
1. The Classic
This is your standard crawl, on all fours, legs and arms moving in opposition. Your baby might start out a little shaky, but she'll no doubt be racing across the room this way in no time.
2. The Commando
This style is similar to the classic, except the tummy stays flat against the ground and your baby's outstretched arms and legs propel him forward. Bonus: Your floor will get a good cleaning. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of your little one's wardrobe.
3. The Backtrack
You might be surprised to see your baby crawling backwards or even sideways, but this actually isn't all that uncommon. My youngest daughter used to get around this way. More than once she ended up with her bottom half wedged under the living room couch! Eventually, though, she moved onto...
4. The Bum Shuffle
This is probably my favorite style to see because it's just so darn cute! There's no one way to do it, but it usually involves a baby sitting somewhat upright and dragging her diapered little bum around the room. This picture shows my daughter's modification: She'd have her bum and one foot flat on the ground as she sort of scooted her way forward. As you can see, she was pretty pleased with herself.
5. The Bear
Babies are on all fours in this style as well, but have their arms and legs fully extended. As a result, they look like adorable little bear cubs lumbering across your kitchen floor.
6. The Roll
Another thing to keep in mind is that some babies don't crawl at all. Some become so proficient at rolling that they just don't see the need. Watching your kid roll like a little tumbleweed across the floor to get to a toy is pretty entertaining.
These cute photos cover the how of crawling, but what about the when? While most infants make their first tentative foray into crawling between 6 and 10 months, sometime between now and never would probably be a more accurate answer! My daughter was 8 months when she first started inching her way forward (or actually backward, in her case), but it took a couple more months for her to master it. Then there was no looking back!
Photos: Carolyn Robertson, iStock, REX Features
This post was originally published in January 2018.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.